2012 Martin Luther King Day events

This MLK weekend, celebrate the prince of peace's legacy. Honor Martin Luther King Jr. at these concerts, dance performances, film screenings, exhibits and workshops.

Introduction to Kingian Nonviolence In this daylong course taught by certified Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies members, participants are educated on the Rev. Martin Luther King's pacifist principles. Evanston History Center, Charles Gates Dawes House, 225 Greenwood St (847-475-3410, evanstonhistorycenter.org). Mon 16, 10am–3pm; free.

King Day Celebration The daylong festival incorporates puppetry, hip hop, storytelling and roving characters to brief museumgoers on the civil rights movement and MLK's mission. DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E 56th Pl (773-947-0600, dusablemuseum.org). Mon 16, 10am–7pm; $10, members $8.

From Plant to Plate—Grow Local As Social Action Activists, chefs, health administrators and other local urban farming purveyors assemble for the third annual Martin Luther King Day food symposium. For the next three days, attendees can partake of workshops, exhibitions, seminars and demonstrations related to farm-to-table practices. KAM Isaiah Israel, 1100 E Hyde Park Blvd (773-924-1234, kamii.org). Fri 13, 8pm; Sat 14, 4:30–6pm). Sun 15, 11:45am–3:30pm; free.

The March: A Civil Rights Opera Composer Jonathan Stinson and librettist Alan Marshall teamed up to produce an opera based on events, supporters and adversaries surrounding the historical 1963 March on Washington. At this MLK holiday kickoff concert, listen to chamber orchestra music from their composition. R.S.V.P. required. North Park Covenant Church, 5250 N Christiana Ave (773 463-0055, npcovenant.org). Sun 15, 6pm; free.

Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah Backed by a 150-member choir and 50-piece orchestra, Chi-Town based soloists Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke and Karen Marie Richardson sing praises to the King, and we're not talking Elvis. Handel's Messiah is infused with jazz and gospel, in honor of Dr. King's birthday. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Congress Pkwy (800-982-2787, auditoriumtheatre.org). Fri 13, 7:30pm; Sat 14, 3pm; $30–$72.

Chicago Cares: Celebration of Service Governor Pat Quinn acknowledges King's Good Samaritan ways and commends 3,000 Chicago Cares volunteers for their humanitarian efforts. After the kickoff, the volunteers will be transported by bus to more than 40 charitable orgs, where they'll educate youth about bullying, spend time with senior citizens and clean up schools. Union Station, 225 S Canal St (chicagocares.org). Sat 14 at 8:15am; free.

Faith in Action Assembly Governor Quinn is a busy man this weekend. He's the key speaker at this Community Renewal Society gathering, which focuses on prominent MLK stances: racial and economic justice. In addition to prayer, attention will be given to topics such as affordable housing, job opportunities for people with felony records, education funding, and a responsible state budget. Kingdom Baptist Church, 301 N Central Ave (312-427-4830, communityrenewalsociety.org). Mon 16, 9am–12pm; free.

MLK Day of Service 2012 Retailer Burlington Coat Factory is on board with Dr. King's do-gooder mission. Donate a gently used or new coat at a store collection box to support the Warm Coats and Warm Hearts Coat Drive. Through Mon 16. Visit burlington.com to find a store near you.

The Journey, The Dream Chicago Sinfonietta maestro Mei-Ann Chen, guest conductor Jeri Lynne Johnson, jazz flutist Nicole Mitchell and the Apostolic Church of God Sanctuary choir collaborate to produce a music performance fit for a king. The Martin Luther King Jr. birthday tribute concert mixes Hungarian folk music with Beethoven. Symphony Center, Orchestra Hall, 220 S Michigan Ave (630-637-7469, chicagosinfonietta.org). Mon 16 at 7:30pm; $26–$96, students $10.

Chicago Zoological Society’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration Brookfield Zoo hosts a celebration of King’s life. The day kicks off with a performance by the John F. Kennedy High School choir, followed by a screening of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Kids are then invited to craft a Tibetan prayer flag, a traditional symbol of peace and goodwill. Brookfield Zoo Discovery Center, 3300 Golf Rd, Brookfield (708-688-8000, czs.org). Mon 16 at 11:30am; free.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemorate the life and legacy of King through family activities and crafts reflecting his messages of peace and justice. Listen to music that honors King and attend a performance of the MLK Project. This event is free and includes complimentary admission to the museum. Chicago History Museum, 1601 N Clark St (312-642-4600, chicagohistory.org). Mon 16, 10am–3pm; free.


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)